Marseille boss Villas-Boas urges players to seize Champions League chance

André Villas-Boas will lead Marseille into their first Champions League fixture in seven years.
André Villas-Boas will lead Marseille into their first Champions League fixture in seven years. AFP/Archives
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Marseille coach André Villas-Boas has called on his players to relish their moment in the Uefa Champions League. 


The French Ligue 1 outfit make its return to European club football's most prestigious tournament at the Karaiskaki Stadium in Athens on Wednesday night after seven years in the wildnerness.


"We're here at last in the competition," said Villas-Boas on the eve of the clash in Group C which also features Manchester City and the Portuguese champions Porto.

"And we want to make the most of our opportunity. We're in a tough group but we're not put off by that. We're motivated."

Marseille reached the competition after finishing second behind Paris Saint-Germain during the 2019/20 Ligue 1 campaign.

Ligue 1 start

They started this season with wins at Brest and Paris Saint-Germain but lost at home to Saint-Etienne before successive draws with Lille, Metz and Lyon. A 3-1 victory over Bordeaux preceded the trip to Athens.

"Our objective has to be to finish in the top two of the Champions League group," said Villas-Boas. "That would be a huge achievement. But for something like that to happen we have got to get a good result against Olympiakos who have more experience than us in the competition."

In the other Group C game on Wednesday night, last season's quarter-finalists Manchester City host Porto.

City boss Pep Guardiola admitted he still blames himself for the manner of his side's exit to Lyon in August in Lisbon.

"It was a tough moment," said Guardiola. "I felt so responsible for how the club felt, the players. I was not able to drive the club and I feel responsible.

"But watching the games we have to accept the reality that we were not good enough. We did not play badly. We played some real good moments but we sometimes made mistakes and in this competition you cannot do it."


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